David C. Sharp
Luis de Góngora’s poem La fábula de Polifemo y Galatea is a quintessential example of the Baroque literary aesthetic as practiced in seventeenth century Spain. Like many of the greatest literary masterpieces from the Renaissance onward, the work employs classical mythology and engages with literary works from antiquity. Yet between the classical precursors and Góngora’s saga, the myth also had been recovered and explored in Europe. The evolutions that it underwent particularly in Italy, and particularly within Giambattista Marino’s rendition, may well have left indelible imprints on Góngora’s own engagement with the fable. Indeed, while applying the rhetorically-based principles of imitatio and aemulatio from classical poetics, Góngora likely considered both classical as well as more recent renditions of the myth, and incorporated elements from both in order to create his own particular version.